These days we're being bombarded with endless award shows for television, movies, and music, but a number of Tri-State (Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota) food service veterans are paying close attention to another prestigious list of honorees.

The James Beard Foundation has released its 2023 Semifinalists for what many consider to be the equivalent of an Oscar or Grammy in the restaurant business.

Eight Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota restaurants are among the nominees.

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Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

The finalists will be announced on March 29, and the winners' gala will be on June 5 in Chicago.

The awards are named after the late James Beard, who was the host of the first food program on television back in 1946.

In 1955, he established the James Beard Cooking School and continued teaching cooking for the next 30 years before his death in 1985 at 81.

The first James Beard Foundation Awards for excellence in the food and beverage and related industries were given out in 1991.

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